25 years ago today my daddy passed away. I was 9 at the time. I remember waking up and my Aunt Dawn being there and her telling me that Grandma Duffy and Granny and Pope were on their way to Texas because my daddy was in bad shape. I went to school, came home and rode my bike. Then my mom came home with my grandparents. She took me in the house and sat on the couch with me in her lap and our dog sitting next to us. She said "Guys, daddy's gone to heaven to be with Grandpa Duffy." I don't remember crying then. I don't remember crying at all. I wonder if I did? I remember going to the funeral home and seeing him. I remember putting things like a Texaco sticker, a picture and a baseball pennant in his coffin. I remember him being in his "I-70 World Series" shirt. I remember going to school the next day because I was determined to get perfect attendance that year and we were going to Carver Culture Center. I remember everyone being very sad for me. I remember the funeral and all the adults crying. I remember we went to a Midland Angels game that night. I remember my aunt crying during "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"(it was played at the end of my dad's funeral). I remember people being around for a long time.
I miss my daddy. For whatever reason this week has been very hard on me. All week I have just felt down and off. I knew it was coming, but I didn't expect it to be hard all week. Usually it's just the day, not the entire week. Today has been especially hard. I would give anything for just a few hours with him again. I hate that as the years go on, I feel like I remember less and less. I wish more than anything he could have met Dart and Audrey. Oh how he and Dart would have spent hours and hours talking baseball. They would have drove us all crazy. Dart is so him when it comes to baseball and not just enjoying the game for the game, but being absorbed in the stats as well. And then Miss Audrey. She would have had him wrapped around her little finger. He would have loved her crazy antics, he would have loved her stories and her determination. He would have decorated his office in her drawings and paintings.
He was so strong and determined to live life as much as he could. I think he knew his time would be short and so he lived life. He didn't let his diabetes get in the way of his life. Towards the end he was on dialysis, but never was down about it. He had worked for an incredible company that did so much for him and our family. He was an accountant at Texaco(yes there is irony in him passing away on April 15th) and the people he worked for could not have been better. He is my angel and when everyone tells me how strong I am, it's only because he is carrying me. I wish more people could have met my dad. I know he wasn't perfect, but in the eyes of a 9 year old daddy's girl he was. I don't remember his flaws and would rather pretend he didn't have any.
Daddy, I hope Dart grows up to be half the man you were. If he does I will be successful as a parent. I hope Audrey grows up to marry a man like you. If she does she will be loved like no one else. I hope you know how much I love you and miss you. I know you are watching over us, and while that is comforting, it doesn't make the pain any less.